Friday, 21 September, 2018

Spotify goes public in stock market debut

Spotify has said it chose a direct listing because it doesn’t need to raise more money. It also says the process is fairer to investors Spotify — Tomorrow
Derrick Tucker | 04 April, 2018, 01:11

Shortly before Spotify began trading on Tuesday, Amazon teased that it now has tens of millions of active subscribers for its music service, though it did not reveal an actual number.

The share sale of Spotify, the Swedish music streaming service, got off to a bum note on Tuesday morning after the New York Stock Exchange hoisted the Swiss, not the Swedish, flag outside its historic building to celebrate the deal. Interestingly enough, the NYSE set Spotify's reference price at $132, a figure which has the potential to fluctuate quite a bit once shares finally begin trading and buy and sell orders are aligned. Unlike other companies who handle this process with the involvement of investment bankers, Spotify is not issuing any new stock.

Spotify went public on Tuesday through a so-called direct listing.

By comparison, Apple's almost 3-year-old music streaming service has 38 million subscribers.

Spotify going public comes at an interesting time.

2012, at the Pre-Grammy Gala & Salute to Industry Icons with Clive Davis honoring Richard Branson, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Spotify stock debuted on the market with a boom, opening at $165.90 in an unusual "direct listing".

"Apple is growing faster than Spotify and has a different business model whereby music does not have to be profitable on a standalone basis", he said.

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The e-commerce giant reported $2.16 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.85 by $0.31. Also, there are 5 buy, 0 sell and 1 strong sell ratings, collectively assigning a 1.38 average brokerage recommendation.

Its closest competitor, Apple Music, is expected to overtake Spotify as the most popular music service in the United States.

Ek said his company chose to skip the IPO phase because he wasn't interested in "the pomp and circumstance".

Unlike a conventional Initial Public Offering (IPO), where a company hires an investment bank to underwrite the process by creating the new shares, pricing them and selling them to the public to raise money, the direct offering process bypasses a lot of those requirements, including the need for an underwriter.

In February, the shares were valued at about $20 billion based on private stock transactions among existing investors.

Spotify has helped change the way much of the world listens to music by popularizing streaming - unlimited, on-demand songs online. Under his watch, Stockholm, Sweden-based Spotify has weathered its share of controversies, including tussles with powerhouse artists like Taylor Swift over how much they are paid for their work. A direct listing eliminates those restrictions and allows them to potentially profit from the IPO immediately. While I appreciate that this path makes sense for most, Spotify has never been a normal kind of company.

Analysts had anxious ahead of Spotify's direct listing that forgoing hiring investment banks as underwriters or holding traditional promotional events with institutional investors could mean volatility once formal trading kicked off.

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